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Effects of l‐tryptophan on the performance, energy partitioning and endocrine response of Japanese sea cucumber (Apostichopus japonicus Selenka) exposed to crowding stress

Zhang, Endong, Dong, Shuanglin, Wang, Fang, Tian, Xiangli, Gao, Qinfeng
Aquaculture research 2018 v.49 no.1 pp. 471-479
Apostichopus japonicus, cortisol, diet, energy, feed conversion, glucose, growth performance, lactic acid, specific growth rate, stocking rate, stress response, tryptophan
The effects of dietary tryptophan on growth performance, energy budget and endocrine response of sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus (Selenka) were studied, to test whether the tryptophan could mitigate the crowding stress response of the sea cucumber. Four density treatments of the sea cucumber (i.e. 4, 8, 16 and 32 individuals per 40 L water, represented as L, ML, MH and H) were fed with diets containing 0 (control), 1%, 3% and 5% l‐tryptophan, respectively, for 75 days. The results showed that the specific growth rate (SGR) and feed conversion ratio (FCE) of A. japonicus decreased with increasing in the stocking densities but increased after supplementation of 1% and 3% tryptophan. The energy allocation of the A. japonicus was affected significantly by stocking density and dietary tryptophan treatments (p < .05). In general, the energy consumed (C) and energy used for growth (G) decreased with the increasing in the stocking densities. The highest proportion of energy deposited to growth occurred in each 3% treatment (L, 6.38%; ML, 6.12%; MH, 4.56% and H, 4.14%), which were significantly higher than the controls (p < .05) respectively. Higher cortisol, glucose and lactate levels of A. japonicus were recorded in the control treatments of MH and H, but l‐tryptophan supplementation could reduce the levels of cortisol, glucose and lactate of the test animals. The present results proved that the growth performance of the sea cucumber was inhibited by high stocking densities, while dietary supplementation of tryptophan could significantly mitigate the crowding stress, and improve the growth of sea cucumber.